Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) expanded the danger zone of Mount Slamet in Central Java, from two kilometers to three kilometers due to increased volcanic activity.

"The current potential threat is phreatic or magmatic eruptions that could spew incandescent material into the area around the peak within a radius of three kilometers," Head of the Geological Agency, Muhammad Wafid, stated here on Friday.

Wafid cautioned about the likely occurrence of ash fall around the crater or in areas determined by the wind direction and speed.

Mount Slamet is a cone-shaped stratovolcano as high as 3,432 meters above sea level.

The volcano, with level II or alert status, is administratively located in the five districts of Pemalang, Banyumas, Brebes, Tegal, and Purbalingga in Central Java.

"Volcanic activity this year is generally dominated by blowing smoke from the crater as high as 50 to 500 meters from the top of the peak," Wafid remarked.

On May 1-15, 2024, the Geological Agency recorded 943 gusts of earthquakes, 58 deep volcanic earthquakes, seven distant tectonic earthquakes, and continuous tremor earthquakes, with an amplitude of 0.5 to seven millimeters, with the dominant being two millimeters.

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Furthermore, Wafid pointed out that seismic activity was dominated by gusts of earthquakes and continuous tremor earthquakes indicating fluid movement activity around the surface.

During the period from the fourth week of September 2023 to October 1, 2023, the number of local tectonic earthquakes increased followed by a rise in tremor amplitude.

An increase in the amplitude of continuous tremors followed by the appearance of long-duration harmonic tremor earthquakes in October 2023 marked the start of increased volcanic activity on Mount Slamet.

Wafid further stated that a rise in the amplitude of continuous tremors indicated an increase in groundwater warming within the body of Mount Slamet at shallow depths.

Meanwhile, the appearance of long-duration harmonic tremors indicated an increase in gusts within the body of the mount.

The Geological Agency conducts visual and instrumental monitoring of Mount Slamet from the volcano observation post located in Gambuhan Village, Gajah Nguling, Pulosari Sub-District, Pemalang District, Central Java.

"Observation results show that there is an increase in pressure under the body of Mount Slamet, which can trigger shallow earthquakes and eruptions," Wafid stated.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Katriana
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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